Thursday, August 31, 2006

olbermann steps up to the plate...

I loved Keith when he used to talk about baseball on ESPN,
but now I realize that he is even better as a political
commentator. We will start looking for him on tv.

FOCUS | Keith Olbermann: There Is Fascism, Indeed
Keith Olbermann says: "The confusion is about whether this secretary of defense, and this administration, are in fact now accomplishing what they claim the terrorists seek: the destruction of our freedoms, the very ones for which the same veterans Mr. Rumsfeld addressed yesterday in Salt Lake City so valiantly fought. And about Mr. Rumsfeld's other main assertion, that this country faces a 'new type of fascism.' As he was correct to remind us how a government that knew everything could get everything wrong, so too was he right when he said that, though probably not in the way he thought he meant it. This country faces a new type of fascism - indeed.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

the man from fremont

The human spirit is stronger than anything
that can happen to it.
                                        George C. Scott

I seem to be into quotes lately, looking for inspiration,
I suppose, during these bleak times. I saw this one at the
General Hospital today when delivering magazines to the
folks in the Psych. Ward on the 7th floor. It's always
easier to do this when the sun is shining, as it was today.
There is a nice outdoor patio here, but seldom any
patients outside in the fresh air.  And I was thinking
about the folks who were smashed by the man from
Fremont in his black SUV yesterday. A "psychotic
break" they said. Honestly, we have enough of these
poor people of our own, do they have to drive all the
way over from the East Bay? I bet he was heading for
the bridge. It is a magnet, we are such an attraction...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

tuesday in the dark

"Religion, which should most distinguish us from the beasts, and ought most particularly elevate us, as rational creatures, above brutes, is that wherein men often appear most irrational, and more senseless than beasts." ~ John Locke

I should have slept in this morning, but I'm up too early
and don't need to be at work until 8am. I adjusted quite
well to my strange mid shift yesterday, and my fellow
workers were quite surprised to have me around after
3pm. Much discussion, illustrating how boring our work
days really are...

Quel surprise that JonBenet's killer isn't. And how much
wasted time and news space that could have been
devoted to criticizing our government's many destructive
policies. My mind, she boggles.

Of course we could discuss baseball ~ I do NOT want to
get my hopes up again this year and be crushed by a
dramatic defeat at the hands of the blue scumsuckers.
The game today is at 4:30, channel 2 ~ the dreaded
red chop-chop business. Egads.

Monday, August 28, 2006

my rare tv treat

Because I don't have to be a work until 10am (ish) today, I
was able to stay up and watch the Emmys last night...what
fun. Now the Blogmaid and I can send emails back and forth
discussing who said what, who wore THAT and isn't Helen
Mirren (Queen Helen) just the best? Reflect for a moment on
how HBO has changed the whole television landscape and
did someone forget
Deadwood? Andre Braugher has long
been a huge favorite since his days on
Homicide Life on the
and isn't it refreshing to see Mariska Hargity with
a little meat on her bones? Congrats to Jon Stewart and
his two Emmys ~ who knew he had so many people helping
with his show? I had some kitchen tasks to do while Barry
Manilow was singing ~ and now I'd better rent
which we've never watched. All in all, with its many flaws,
it was a satisfying award show for the after-9pm deprived.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

we're all acrobats

Remember going to the circus when you were a kid? I
want to recommend
Water for Elephants, one of the
best novels I have read in a long time. Ms. Gruen has
thoroughly researched the strange world of circus
people and animals, as well as the 1930s, when life in
America was so excruciatingly difficult for so many.
This really should be a best-seller!

Click Here: Check out "Powell's Books - Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen"

Saturday, August 26, 2006

what a difference a day makes

"All things in this world are impermanent. They have the nature to rise and pass away. To be in harmony with this truth brings true happiness." ~ Buddhist chant

For the past four (maybe five) years I have had Tuesdays and Wednesdays off. As a result, our theatre tickets are for Tuesday night and Husbando makes his appointments for Thursdays. But now my weekends will probably be Wednesdays and Thursdays and I'm trying to show everyone how adaptable and cooperative I can be. It's funny too, when I pretend that I'm Ms. Flexible at work (which by nature I'm not, as you might have guessed), it's somehow easier to actually be that Team Player and Excellent Employee.
"Act as if..." Now I get it.

Friday, August 25, 2006

the man from amtrak®

Yesterday I discovered that one of my customers works for
the train that we took from Portland back to Portland, before
we jumped on the plane to San Francisco. We gather emails
from customers and this is how I found out about his work
life. I told him that we were on "that train" and he seemed
to know exactly which one I was talking about, and he seemed
positively gleeful. At least he could have feigned sympathy,
even though he wasn't on the clock. I would have. Maybe.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

trees, houses, hills, fog, blue sky

view from lundys lane
Originally uploaded by the omster.
This is from my Tuesday walk, after the latte. Note the fog burning off, always a welcome sight. It was one of those indescribable mornings when the air energizes, and I say, once again, "yes, I did the right thing when I moved to San Francisco". Plus, I need to carry these moments when I'm locked inside all day, as I was today.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

two birds and one ommmmmm

(this was my daily write today...the prompt is from my
beautiful writing teacher, Jane. I changed the yoga teacher's
name so I can return to class next week)


I was thrown into advanced yoga this morning. My first thought was to bolt
and go out for a latte and a walk like I did yesterday. For some reason I
was the only student in the klutz class, even though last week we had
maybe 14 or so, so my teacher escorted me down two floors to Orlando's
class in the living room.

"Oh, oh", I thought. I know Orlando because he has substituted before and
he is one of the pretzel guys. I don't give a royal fuck if he can put his
foot behind his head, it looks grotesque and what good is that position
to anyone? But he does have a nice sense of humor and I think he is
a kind person, so I trudged down and spread my towel and smiled
at Orlando and thought mean non-zen like things.

I made it through most of the poses, I just skipped the add-ons and little
back breaking variations that Orlando and his band of show-offs like to
use. The class went by quickly and in the end I had to admit that it was
good for me to try some new things and I was even able to doze a little
during deep meditation. Even though that's illegal (the mind stays alert!),
I always get some shut eye to prove to everyone that I can really relax
in whatever class I attend.

And gradually, without even noticing it, I have become a true yoga person.
Instead of making fun of the chants and cliches, I have memorized them all
and even use some of them in my everyday life. When I first started, all I
cared about was staying limber and stretching some unused muscles. But
now I want it all: breathing, chanting, meditating and stretching. And hooray
for me for going to Orlando's class instead of to the Muddy Waters.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

thoughts on cigarettes and sunshine

Lazy day off today. I took a long walk about 10am and
had a latte outside at the Muddy Waters on 29th Street.
I know I shouldn't be sitting in the sun, basking like a cat,
but I couldn't help it. The other outsiders were smokers
and I wanted to warn them that cigarettes are going to
be something like $8 a pack after November, after we
vote. And no, I don't think cigars should be taxed more,
and yes, I know there will be a huge problem with cigs
coming across the California border illegally. But still,
if one person that I know stops smoking because of the
expense, it's worth it to me. Not to be negative, but
lung cancer is an unpleasant (shall we say?) way to die.

One of those odd thoughts occurred to me as I was
sitting there, half reading my New Yorker. It was very
noisy: traffic, honking horns, street repair, a sidewalk
being torn up, folks yakking on their mobiles. Yet I
was as relaxed as I would have been if I were alone on a
deserted beach. I guess it's the city noises that soothe me.
Not the sound of gun shots, of course, but just everyday
working world noises.

Once again I wondered. Who works? The coffee shop was
filled with people who should be on the job. Lap top, cell
phone and coffee at each table. No couples, no officially
retired looking folks, no tourist types ~ early millionaires
perhaps? Wealthy screen writers? Artists?

And now we've just returned from a rare treat. No Flix®!
Movie at a real theatre ~
Little Miss Sunshine. Delightful.

Monday, August 21, 2006

tonight on HBO

Don't forget to watch Spike Lee's documentary on New
When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts.
Yes, it will be heartbreaking, but I believe we have to
feel this horror again as the first year anniversary comes
up in a few weeks. I remember a couple of sleepless nights
with images of those poor people running nonstop through
my mind. How could this have happened in a country with
all our wealth and know-how? I have no more answers now
than I did then...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

what a difference a door makes

I deserve an office
Originally uploaded by the omster.
I had to displace a few people in order to get this office, but I always say that change is good for us. The Picasso came from home and is quite faded ~ it looks lovely with the dirty grey wall. I am not allowed to have a Giants' shrine at work and that is the reason our team is not doing so well. Sorry. When I dwelled in my previous "open air office", I had not a pinch of privacy. People would "borrow" everything on my desk and wander off with whatever they needed. But the worst thing was how they would stand over my shoulder and pretend to talk to me so they could read my emails. I do the same thing, so they couldn't fool me. If one of my readers would like to have fresh flowers delivered to my desk once a week, I could accept that. You can't see the calendar, but it features B&W photos of NYC. I'm a happier working woman now...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

and we beat L.A.!

I'll be at work, unfortunately (for many reasons) today when
"my baseball email group" starts to clog cyberspace with
the rehashing of last night's game. Dodger Doug was there
to suffer with his cha cha bowl, notthat will have details
that no one else could possibly know and the Blogmaid is
an authority on shrines and anti-shrines. Snowglobe Sally
is in Great Britain, missing all the fun here. For my part, I
had to laugh when the "Beat L.A." chant started in the first
inning, about the 5th pitch, I think. Giants fans are so much
more enthusiastic than those blue ones, or maybe they just
drink more. Tonight's game should be even more exciting.

Friday, August 18, 2006

sick of the little blonde beauty queen

Lordy, Jon Benet is back in her mascara and come hither
look on those awful video tapes. One would think that no other
child has died these past ten years. No disease, no poverty,
no abused children in our little world. We do love the macabre,
don't we? The media is going to milk this for all it's worth, I
really need to cool it here and not be sharing my opinion
with everyone. Not that I could stop this ghoulishness from
playing out until the end (and then some). Too hideous.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

that extra day ~ delish!

Today is that 3rd day off in a row that I try to take each
month to keep me sane. I have a friend named Mary who
lives in St. Louis ~ she is in her 80's and is very beautiful.
She also gets up early and one time she emailed me about
6am to say, "aren't the early mornings delicious?"

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

pondering the journey

"One isn't born one's self. One is born with a mass of expectations, a mass of other people's ideas — and you have to work through it all." ~
V.S. Naipaul

I write a lot about this journey that we're's so simple,
really. Getting to know who we really are and then having the
courage to say, "sorry, no can do ~ that's not me".  Or, "yes,
I'm comfortable here, I want to do this or live here or be with
such and such a person, or not." In my case it's admitting that
I need more alone time than other people seem to, and I don't
have much tolerance for intolerant people. Hence I like this
dirty, hurly burly city with all our strange citizens who
probably would not be accepted in my home town, Pasadena,
California. I grew up there knowing I wanted to leave and I
was able to breathe freely once I moved to San Francisco.
It's just part of being me. (I told you it was a simple theory.)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

no pho photo

Originally uploaded by 20mm.
...because we were too busy slurping the luscious soup at Mangosteen here today. My camera shot of Ellis and Larkin didn't turn out, so I'm borrowing this one from Flickr®, with thanks. Anyway, both Pagolac and Turtle Tower were closed, so we walked a few feet further to enjoy our belated Ducknik birthday lunch with the Great Plotniks. And call it what you may, it's still the Tenderloin (TL) and it's still a very rough part of town. However the 4 of us enjoyed our adventure, each other's company and the all-over lime green (even the chop sticks!) restaurant. But I am curious as to when these signs first appeared and also what exactly was in the bag that the man tried to sell The Great Plotnik?

so I'm addicted to wikiquote?

"Call for the grandest of all earthly spectacles, what is that? It is the sun going to his rest. Call for the grandest of all human sentiments, what is that? It is that man should forget his anger before he lies down to sleep." ~ Thomas De Quincey

Monday, August 14, 2006

when tom was just a boy

Flipping around on the tv, endless talking heads. But by
a wonderful accident I happen on Tom Hanks in
Big (1988).
(Also Elizabeth Perkins, who is now in Weeds.) Anyway,
every time I see one of those bonsai ears of corn in a
salad, for instance, I remember this scene that I love.
Tom, in his sparkly white tuxedo, picking up that little ear
of corn and nibbling up and down each row, just like it's
a real grown-up ear of corn. Too perfect.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

hiding in my computer

It's the top of the 8th inning and I don't want to watch the
Dodgers win tonight. The game is tied currently (0 to 0),
but after watching baseball for a few years, a fan knows
when the tide is turning and the heart is breaking. As
Krukow might say, "the momentum monkey has jumped
into the other dugout". Damn that blue monkey...

Saturday, August 12, 2006

wikiquote from wikipedia

     •     I don't think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you might nudge the world a little or make a poem that children will speak for you when you are dead. ~
Tom Stoppard

The July 31st New Yorker has an article on Wikipedia
(Page 36) and of course that makes it legit to me. So after
hearing about it for years from my friend Michael, I
decided that I'd better check it out. It's very easy to read
(what did I expect?) and I loved the Wikiquote, a daily
feature. And here's a quote from the NYer: "What can be
said for an encyclopedia that is sometimes right, sometimes
wrong, and sometimes illiterate?" Well, for one thing it's
free and it is certainly an endless source of fun, but of
course I'm a brand new browser here. See for yourself:
Main Page - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Friday, August 11, 2006

take me to the tenderloin

My newest best food friend asked one of his other best
food friends about pho restaurants and this was my
email from Michael Bauer today:

I would send her to Turtle Tower in the Tenderloin, and
Pagolac isn’t bad either.

So now I have another goal for next week. One is to return
to the Legion of Honor at 9:30 am, before the crowds, the
other is to find some fabulous pho. And here you thought I
sat around all day reading blogs and doing daily writes.

There are SO many tourists downtown this year. Too many.
The line up Powell for the cable car often reaches past Ellis.
It's big money for the city, that much we know.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

when bloggers answer emails

I'm going to try to ignore the whole horror of the airlines
tonight and let others write and talk about the next wave
of possible terrorism. It's too awful...

One of my favorite blogs is from our very own Chronny
restaurant reviewer, Michael Bauer. I now read him every
day and I especially enjoy his posts on service and such
topics as: if the restaurant is almost empty, why do they
try to seat us at the very worst table?

The other night I wrote Michael because our favorite pho
restaurant out at Clement and 11th is gone forever. He
had sent us there originally and I felt he should help us now.
Well, he wrote back the very next day that one of his fellow
food writers is researching pho restaurants and there
should be something in the paper very soon. I was impressed.
(Oh, pho is a Vietnamese soup, but you knew that.)
Michael Bauer: Between Meals

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

time to get enthused

This morning I had a lovely time with RWW (Right Wing
Wong), my dentist for many years. We have a running
battle about flossing (what else?) and today he suggested
that I try to floss five times a day! I responded in a not
very nice manner, and he said, "it's about time you get
enthused about flossing!" OK.

Here is a poem from the New Yorker:


Watch it spin like a wheel
and get stuck in the mud.

The truck is full of caged chickens
squawking about their fate.

The driver had gone to get help
in a dive with a live band.

Myrtle, Phyllis ~ or whatever they call you girls!
get some shut-eye while you can.

Charles Simic

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

every day with sunshine!

legion of honor view
Originally uploaded by the omster.
Isn't this the best summer ever? No marine layer, very little wind and these perfectly clear and sunny days. All the tourists who are dreaming of moving here have no idea. That's OK, let's keep them in fantasyland. Today we ventured to the other side of the city to the Legion of Honor to see Monet in Normandy. Alas, we were joined by about 14,000 other art lovers, so it was a little difficult to actually move around, let alone see too many of the 53 paintings. We plan to go back, however, because this is definitely worth seeing. I mean, who doesn't love Monet? The show will be here until Sept. 17th. We met our friends Steve and Marita from San Rafael, and also Mollie who followed us home from Portland. But crowds are difficult for me because I have the opportunity of working within a people-packed Cuisinart® five days a week.

Monday, August 07, 2006

a bit discombobulated

Instead of my usual 6 to 3 shift, I worked from 9 to 6
today and here is this is what I noticed:

. nice to putz around at home in the morning, I didn't
  really sleep in past 4am, but that's OK
. walking when it's light out is easier and I get to see
  the murals and gardens that I've missed
. LOTS of day laborers on Cesar Chavez
."you're so late!" from the woman I buy the Chronny
   from in the BART station
. BART is very crowded, standing room only
. morning folks at work claimed they missed me and
  the later crew said it was too weird having me there
. I wasn't as exhausted tonight as I thought I would be

Actually, I decided that it was beneficial to change my
work routine. It was an excellent day, all in all.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

our overnight guest

I'm always a little nervous when I about talk about work in the
blog, so I'll just make this brief. Of course I usually write
at least 6,000 words per post, as you might have noticed.

Anyway, when Doctor Jay, Orlando and I opened the store
at 6am, we already had a customer! He had spent the night
in the cafe and did not set off even one alarm. Of course
he was probably in an altered state of mind, if you get my
drift. It was an extremely scary situation, especially since
it took the cops 15 minutes to get there after I called 911.

I will be forever grateful to the doctor and Orlando for
helping me so much this morning. Honestly, I wasn't ever
really scared because those two stood by me. The first
thing the "customer" said to me was, "oh, I'm so glad
you're here at 6, I was afraid I'd have to wait until 10."
It's good to be appreciated. Nothin' but fun in retail.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

today's daily write ~ SOUND is the prompt

It's very quiet here in Bernal Heights right now, I can't even hear the sound of a siren or a car horn. People who enter our home for the first time are surprised that it is so still, they expect downtown-type noises, I guess.

When it's quiet like this I can hear the buzzing in my ears. It once worried me so much that I had my hearing checked a couple of years ago and the technician said that everything is normal. Back in the past, I had a friend named Roger who had such dreadful tinnitis that he talked about suicide and he did, in fact, kill himself.
I didn't want the ringing to get any worse than it is now and the ear expert said it probably wouldn't. Roger's condition began after he had routine ear surgery and I swore then and there that I would NEVER let any doctor stick anything into my ears.

But I digress. When I was typing away here there was a siren. Not too loud and certainly not on our street. My husband is a siren chaser and so was my mother.
He will step out on the back porch and check the skyline to look for puffs of smoke. If the ambulance or fire truck is on our street, he will go outside the front door and see what's happening and where. I don't do that, preferring that he come back and give me all the colorful details.

I am a person who loves quiet. I normally don't turn background music on unless I really want to hear something. Being a word person I need to hear what the singer is singing about and when I love a song or a CD, it's always because of the words, not the melody.

more camera talk

Click Here: Check out "Giant Camera, San Francisco, California"
No, I don't know Jack & Bev, but their knowledge seems

Friday, August 04, 2006

want more?

Scroll down in this delightful blog for more photos of
Olivia and her cat sister Reecy.
Click Here: Check out "My Great Breast Cancer Adventure

who can resist our muse?

livvy at tiapos
Originally uploaded by the omster.
We have a new member of our writing group ~ meet Olivia Bouchet (Livvy B. for short). She is the sweetest puppy ever and she belongs to our Salon Mistress and her Jackie P. There were only four humans at Tiapos (This Is A Piece of Shit) last night, so we had lots of time to discuss Livvy and Reecy the cat who is adjusting nicely to her new housemate. Of course we missed Doug, Sarah and Will, but we had a fine time with our small group of writers and animals.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

mysteries surround me

The other night we watched a strange film from Flix®:
Bubble - Movie Info - Yahoo! Movies
It's a short one, so you won't be investing a lot of
time here. There are no professional actors, but the
plot builds in such an interesting manner that I
believe you'll be as riveted as we were as the murder
is solved before our eyes.

What am I reading? A great mystery by Matthew Pearl.
Ever since my Nancy Drew days I've loved getting lost
in a well crafted mystery and this one blends history
and literary detection revolving around the death of
Edgar Allan Poe.  Takes place in Baltimore and Paris,
in 1849. The Poe Shadow: A Novel: Books: Matthew Pearl

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

unclear on the concept

It's been a few weeks since I've been to yoga, so today
was not easy for me. Still, it felt pretty good. My teacher
knows that I'm not exactly a "spiritual being", and I think
she held her breath when she announced that the Institute
was hosting a 'fasting lunch" later this week. I tried, I
really tried to keep my mouth shut, but I was forced to
say, "so, I guess I'd better eat something first, right?"
True yoga people do not appreciate my humor, but I
can't help myself. Sounds like a cheap way to entertain,
if you ask me...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

drat, no camera

Husbando took me to lunch today down at the beautiful
and expensive Cliff House. As most of you know, we have
separate bank accounts which means that it's a big deal
when one takes the other out ~ so today I chose not only
the restaurant, but I specified that we needed to sit in
the extravagant part, not the wait-in-line cafe side. He
threatened to sit and watch me eat, but at the last moment
ordered pasta for himself. I had a divine lamb "sandwich"
(the menu had quotes there), no top slice of bread, so
now you know what the " "s indicate. I don't think this is
a universal restaurant symbol...
CLIFF HOUSE Seafood, Restaurants, Wedding Receptions

It was such a gloriously clear day. Damn that camera
resting in my office here at home. We watched fishermen
climb up a dangerous looking rock and could almost feel
the spray in our faces. They never caught anything, but
it must have been such an exhilarating experience for them.

I wanted to go into the Camera Obscura ($3 each) but the
ticket taker had disappeared. I will do that one day soon.
Stopped at Sloat Garden for some flowers for the back deck
and will plant those tomorrow.

On a happy note, the man in the bucket arrived yesterday
and our phone is 100%. I can use my very own Wi Fi too.
Life is good in Frisco...